Categories Archive

The Royal Baby

In honor of the impending birth of the Royal Baby, I thought I would highlight a collection we designed when Kate and William got married. I love the Liberty floral prints and it was fun that they teamed up with Target. That was a great influence on this collection and I always love to throw in silhouettes and photo illustrations.  Here’s to a happy, healthy new King or...

Empty Nest Syndrome

My son is off to college this summer and that leaves me with just two left in “the nest”. My daughters still have quite a while before flying away – about 6 years, but I’ve often thought of what car I would drive and what kind of house I would own when the nest is empty. Growing up I always wanted a Chinook for a car. If you are unfamiliar with this car it is basically a small pick up with a camper shell attached. I thought it would be awesome to drive around with your house attached. Then as a tween I really wanted to live in an apartment, I thought that would be so fun. Don’t tell my parents who celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next year, but I kind of wanted them to separate or divorce so I could live in an apartment. (I know I’m weird) As a college graduate I finally achieved that dream! 🙂 (The apartment not the divorce) Now of course I live in a standard ranch house and drive a standard SUV! (To drive my standard family of 5 around) But I dream of one day having a small cottage with white slip-covered furniture (and no one to spill stuff on it), a cute little garden, and a small cute car like a convertible bug or a Mini Cooper (no carpooling allowed). I guess you can tell from my Pinterest boards I like turquoise? Funny since I have none in my house now! Don’t get me wrong I love my kids dearly and will totally miss almost everything about having them...

Inspiring Graduation Speeches

It’s that time of year, when school is winding down, senior ball is over and kids are finishing their finals. Some are moving to the next grade but some like my son are graduating high school. It seems like it was only yesterday that he started kindergarten. I had just had my third child three weeks before school started and I remember dragging all 3 of them to school every morning. The car seats, the strollers, helping in class with a baby bjorn attached to me. Now my son is 6′ 4″ and certainly doesn’t need any help in the classroom. Luckily he’s turned into a really responsible super great kid! He’s off to San Diego State next fall and we are all really proud of the man he’s become. Today we get to celebrate his accomplishments at his high school graduation. There will be inspiring speeches, hot sun, lots of crowds and a whirlwind of picture taking. But I’ll be right there pushing and shoving along with all the other parents to get the best seat in town! Here are a few really great and inspiring graduation speeches: http://youtu.be/Bpd3raj8xww&w=450 http://youtu.be/ELC_e2QBQMk&w=450 http://youtu.be/0e8ToRVOtRo&w=450...

inspired in italy

I’m on an 18 day dream trip with my daughter who just graduated from college. We’ve seen more amazing things in the last couple of days than I’ve seen in California in years. California is a beautiful but young (like me) state compared to the rest of the civilized world.  I’ve already decided there’s a new fabric collection coming called “Santa Margherita.” Maybe I’ll design another called Venice, and then one called Florence. I’ll let you know if those stops inspire me as much as our adventure on the beautiful Almalfi coast has. This is a beautiful place in every way. Except for some old restrooms in train stations where you have to stand up and pee over a hole, there’s nothing inspirational about that. I guess it’s all part of the adventure....

Support the Artists in the Cloud

I know all of you creative types know about Etsy, but if you consider yourself “creatively challenged” you may not be aware of the best place to shop in the entire internet Universe. (It might be tied with Zappos, which has more hot shoes than even I can keep up with). Etsy is like Amazon but for super cool, handmade stuff. I was searching the internet for sarcastic phrases last week because SOMEONE ACTUALLY PAYS ME MONEY to do stuff like that and I happened to come across these amazing handmade earrings that say “In one ear, out the other.” As luck would have it, I have my credit card number memorized in case of an emergency, and well, duh. So I sent in my order and commented to the ArtistQueenOfAllThingsResin that these were the best earrings ever. So I was already excited when my package arrived (quickly and inexpensively) and then I opened it and first there was this completely fabulous pillow box with a lucky number attached AND A BONUS NECKLACE with my second favorite word on it. Did she read my mind? No, because the necklace probably would have said f*ck instead of duh. But still. Oh, AND there was a coupon for my next purchase. So if you are looking for a gift for you mom, your sis, your friend or yourself (but not your mother-in-law) go to Etsy. And start with Resin8ingDarkness because if this post entertains you, then so will the jewelry in this awesome...

What is Equality?

e·qual·i·ty 1. the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability. Isn’t it time we stopped arguing and do the right thing? We have a history of denying rights to citizens, let’s take a step in the right direction. “Individuals fall in love and get married.’ Why don’t you want your fellow men and women, your fellow Americans to be happy? Why do you attack them? Why do you want to destroy the love they hold in their hearts? Why do you want to crush their hopes, their dreams, their longings, their aspirations? We are talking about human beings, people like you, people who want to get married, buy a house, and spend their lives with the one they love. They have done no wrong.” – Martin Luther King Jr. speaking on interracial marriages The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States[1] that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women.[2] It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (“public accommodations”). In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed, which provided: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Some of the reasons that men thought women should not vote Women already have the municipal vote, and are eligible for membership of most local authorities....

We Miss You Magic Land

I was doing some research last week, I can’t even remember what it was for but I stumbled across the most amazing artists. They are called Pip & Pop. The Australian artist duo Nicole Andrijevic and Tanya Schultz, create the most magical art installations. They use neon dyed sugar, glitter, and plastic toys. They create them in a manner similar to Buddhist Sand Mandalas. I think if there is a Heaven this is what mine would look like. Cotton candy, glitter, and neon sugar in all it’s glory! I felt like a kid at Disneyland, I could not look away. It was like my first time on the Peter Pan ride and all the sparkling stars and little houses below me, I was amazed. I hope you are amazed as well. If you like what you see just Google their name and you can see a bunch of additional images. I hope that they do a show in California! The title We Miss You Magic Land is the name of the art installation they did for the Gallery of Modern Art in Australia....

Holiday sparkles

This year my Christmas decor is all about glittery, vintage-y, sparkly stuff. It started in October when I saw this sparkly silver reindeer that’s the size of my dog on display at Z Gallerie. While my judgmental self was thinking it’s way too early for Christmas displays, my holiday-loving self was like “I gotta have this.” I bought it and hid it from my hubby cuz he already thinks I’m nuts, I don’t need to fuel that fire. My living room is also decorated with, surprise!, reindeer and sparkly stuff. But I also have a feather-y thing going on just to make sure it looks completely fabulous. If I didn’t know better I’d think a Drag Queen decorated my house this year… And my new favorite decoration is on a table in the entry way. It’s a random collection of a bird cage, a wreath, a candles and plumes. I think holiday decor should be whatever makes you feel festive and smiley. It doesn’t have to have a theme or matching colors. For years I’ve been collecting Bumbles (the abominable snowman from the Rudolph movie). I put them in odd places all over the house and the friends and fam that come every year during the holidays love to try to find them all. I still have work to do, gotta get the stockings hung by the chimney with care and get out some of our traditional ornaments. And then there’s the tree… oh how I love the chaos of Christmas. And no, I have not started shopping yet. Whatever.  ...

New Simon+Kabuki Partyware Designs

We are always busy with new product designs at Simon+Kabuki. We get asked to design a lot of partyware, and since we always love to throw a good bash, designing the paper plates and cups is a lot of fun. Whenever we throw our own parties we start with designing the invitations and then use that design as our overall theme. The designs above have not been chosen yet, the selection process takes a long time, especially with big stores like Target. Once they are chosen and printed and we actually see our stuff on the shelves, we turn into giddy kids again! What do you think of the designs? Would you throw a cowboy/girl themed...

Did you Rock the Vote?

Did you Rock the Vote yesterday? Whether you are a democrat or a republican I hope you got out there and voted. It’s the only way to make our voices heard. I loved this portion of Obama’s speech, “America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.” I also loved what Romney said in his speech, “The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work… And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics. I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.” Remember politics is like a good marriage. For a marriage to work and be harmonious sometimes you must agree to disagree. Marriage as defined by Wikipedia: Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship. I like that definition– we must now work...

Exploring your Neighborhood

Last week my kids had the week off. My son did several college tours and I took Friday off for some fun family time. Most of our weekends are taken up driving to soccer games all over town so it was nice to have a free Friday to explore our nearby parks and recreation. We often head to the beach but this time we went to Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz. I’d never been even though it is so close to us. It is a historic state park with a farm and houses that have been preserved. The day we were there they were doing living history demonstrations for elementary school classes so we got to tag along. We then had lunch swung by the The Seymour Marine Discovery Center and then headed over to the new Sanctuary Exploratory Center near the boardwalk. It’s small, free and easy to visit on your way to somewhere else, like dessert on the wharf. We visited for 30 minutes, the most entertaining part was the movie they play about the area. We then visited a great home store in Aptos called the Warmth Company. I loved everything there and if I win the lottery I’m heading over for a shopping spree ASAP. We decided to take the scenic route home and found a super cute farmstand. It works on the honor system. There were prices for everything and a place to put your money. The whole day was awesome and it was great not to have to rush from one field to the next. What hidden gems are in your neighborhood waiting...

Elegant Winter Wedding

I love the idea of an Elegant Black and White Wedding. Or black and white with a subtle accent color thrown in. You could wear some sparkly shoes under your wedding dress for a great little surprise. Black and white is perfect for anytime of the year but feels especially appropriate during the winter months. There are tons of resources for ideas, I did a google search for black and white weddings and it came back with 408 million pages! That’s a lot to look at. I suggest starting off at places like the Knot or even Pinterest. And if you are looking for something unique and handmade try Etsy.com, I love the brooch bouquets you can find on Etsy, so clever. Good luck planning your special day! Invitation by Simon+Kabuki on LookLoveSend, Heels, Cake, Bouquet, ...

Lazy Summer Days

As you can probably tell from our lack of blog posts we’ve either been really busy or really lazy. I’m going with busy. Oddly we spend our time from May-July designing for Christmas. We’ve recently completed about 100 new Christmas cards for various stationery sites. I finally am taking a breather and enjoying the summer. I love summer when the kids are off of school, no more field trip forms, checks for yearbooks or geography projects. But sometimes it is hard to come up with something to do with the kids that does not involve lots of money. We love going to the beach, movies and amusement parks but between gas, parking, food and activities it is usually a $100 day. So until we win the lottery we have to fill most of our days with fun cheap activities. Here are a few of the things we like doing: 1. Swimming – my kids love swimming and want to swim everyday. Luckily my parents live down the street and have a pool. Bring some popsicles and let the kids swim for a couple of hours. Most cities have public pools that you can join for the summer for a reasonable cost. 2. Park – try a new park and bring lots of snacks, water and packed lunches. You can also bring your scooters or bikes for even more fun. 3. Go for a hike – we are lucky to live next to a beautiful park. Go early so it is not too hot. 4. Lemonade stand – My daughter and her friends decided to raise money to go see...

fun stuff from Etsy

It’s been a while since I posted. My computer has had some serious problems and has been in the shop at Apple all week. I get to pick it up today from the Apple store lets hope it works! Its been very hard bouncing to other computers. Luckily everything was backed up on Friday and some time over the weekend it conked out. Make sure to back up everyday, I’ve learned the hard way before, not fun! I love checking out Etsy and do it regularly. It is a great place to look for inspiration and unique gifts. Once you sign in you can easily save your favorite items or stores. This is a great feature and I wish every website included it. I can come back anytime and see all the cute things I’ve liked over the years. We’ve attempted to sell items before but found that unless you can devote yourself full time to it, it is quite difficult to get the sales. Since we also license our work, do corporate graphic design and also create lots of mock-ups for manufacturers, there does not seem to be time leftover in a day to devote to Etsy as a seller. As a buyer, I’ve got that covered! Etsy is a great marketplace for one of a kind items that you can’t find down at the mall. Here are some of my favorites. I have tons of favorites and could write a whole book on them but had to narrow it down to just a few! To get to the Etsy store for each seller just click on the...

fishin' for adventure

Many years ago, I sat next to a cool grandma on a plane trip. She told me she was going to pick up her grandson and take him on his 13th birthday trip… to Africa for a safari. Grandma and Grandpa take each of their grandchildren for an adventure anywhere in the world for two weeks when they turn 13, no she wouldn’t adopt me. This kind of trip is outside of my reality but I thought maybe we could take our kids on a long weekend when they turned 13. The rules are: anywhere in the continental US for four days with one parent. So when our oldest turned 13, she did a bunch of research and finally chose 4 days on a dude ranch in the desert. It was an awesome trip that we’ll never forget. When my second one turned 13, he chose prime seats at the MLB All Star game where he and my hubby could watch his baseball heroes do their thing. Our youngest turned 13 and he wanted to go hunting and noodling. In Oklahoma. For those who don’t know what noodling is, it’s fishing without a pole. Stupid people stick their hands into holes under rocks and logs and wait for a meaner-than-shit catfish to bite them. Yeah, I did that. Because I am competitive (and not that smart) I convinced my son that taking me with him would be a great idea. I’m a decent shot (with a gun or a bow) but I’ve never hunted so we brought my dad, the ultimate outdoorsy-hunter guy. The three of us left San Jose...

Dreamy chandeliers

While in NYC for the Stationery Show/Surtex, I lucked out and found myself outside of ABC Carpet and Home store. The storefront was vintagey-cool and the window displays were works of art. I spent a couple of hours soaking in the one-of-a-kind home decor collections and was most captivated by the lighting display.                                                                                               This amazing store was my favorite find in NYC this year. I’m not sayin’ I wasn’t delighted by this year’s hooker display, I saw some very original looks, but the ABC Carpet and Home store was just as good....

Fabulous Flea Market

Yesterday after my two daughter’s soccer games, we headed to the Goat Hill Farm Fair. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm day and the drive on Highway 17 was gorgeous! My daughter’s complained the whole time about wanting to go home but once they got there they fell in love. This is the second time the fair has been held and they have another planned for mid-September. The biannual Goat Hill Fair, has select artists and craftspeople offering their wares on an idyllic 11-acre ranch in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The vendors sold everything from repurposed jewelry and embellished handbags to French antiques and primitive art. The setting is beautiful and the artists arrange their items all around the farm–even using the shaded porch. My daughters both got great ideas for jewelry and immediately came home and started on their “junk” necklaces with some of the items they purchased. We also got some really cute rings that we all wore today. I highly recommend trying to attend the next show in September if you are in the area and be sure to check the website for the vendor listings they often are at other fairs or flea markets....

where the wild things are

Maurice Bernard Sendak – June 10, 1928 – May 8, 2012 Growing up my favorite book was Where the Wild Things Are. I still have my original copy, slightly beaten, read many times and loved tremendously. I felt like I was Max or at least his tag-along friend on a fantastic journey. I loved the drawings and imagined myself as their queen. Max could be my boyfriend and we’d all live happily ever after. I know much has been said about the psychology behind Sendak’s books and illustrations but as a happy go lucky kid, I just saw them as pure fun and fantasy. There was never really a dark side for me. It’s funny how kids can read something or watch something over and over again but that is exactly what I did as a child. I can’t imagine reading any of the books I read now over and over. There is something about being a child and finding the perfect book that just can’t be repeated as we get older. I guess with bills to pay, jobs to go to, people to take care of – a little bit of happy go luck gets lost. Thank you Mr. Sendak for Max and the Wild Things! “We’ll eat you up, we love you so!”...

planting a veggie garden

I love eating fresh fruits and veggies especially in the summer. Last year we decided to build our own vegetable garden. We built two 4′ x 8′ boxes. Each season we switch out what we grow and try new things. Not everything is a success and it is definitely trial by error, we are far from experts! Our most successful crops so far have been broccoli and cauliflower. We had tomatoes which only did okay. We also planted leeks, peppers, herbs and cucumbers. This year our selection includes tomatoes, cilantro, basil, lemon cucumbers, melons, squash, eggplant, lettuce and a few other herbs. Sometimes we want to kill our dogs or the squirrels that dig in the planters but overall it has been a really fun experience. Our kids love seeing what new veggie is growing and eating it fresh off the vine. This year I hope we have a bumper crop that lasts all through the summer. We often rely on Sunset Magazine to help with ideas, it is a great resource. What are you planting this year? Any favorites that we must try or special tips on getting the most from your...

my womancave

My little “work room” had become a place to put crap so I decided to reorganize. I took all of the furniture out so I could get a fresh perspective on the space. Then I noticed that I hate the carpet that’s been in there for 10 years. So I tore it out. Then I had crappy plywood floors. Then I figured since the carpet was torn out I might as well paint. Now it looks like this. It was important to keep the desk clear of clutter so I have a place to do projects and wrap gifts, hence the industrial shelving with baskets so I can see that I already have a hundred spools of ribbon before I run out and buy another one. I wanted a place on the wall to pin up inspirations and momentos so I made a pushpin board out of cork squares. I layered some burlap with a sheet of gift wrap that was too beautiful to use on a gift. The “wallflowers” are from Target.com, they’re super easy to put up and come in other shapes and colors.   I didn’t really need a curtain on the window but I wanted a nice finished look. So I glue gunned sewed this valance out of burlap and used some Simon+Kabuki white patterned cotton fabric for the panels. My effin’ home office project is finally almost done. I still have one blank wall that needs some loving care but I’m taking a little break to give my addled brain a chance to air out and come up with something supercute. And hopefully easy....

surf's up!

I know it is winter and in some places there is snow on the ground but here in Northern California old man winter has taken a break. I am totally okay with having 75 degree winter days, no complaints here. It’s fun to hit the parks and beaches and not worry about mud. The dogs can go in and out without tracking mud into the house or car and the kids can play soccer to their hearts delight! In honor of our sunny winter I thought I would show off some of our design collections that are directly inspired but sunny California. And I don’t want to give away our ages but you can tell we grew up in the...

what's new wednesday – tangerine tango

In honor of our new color of the year, Tangerine Tango, I decided to take one of our popular patterns and adapt it using Tangerine Tango. I started with Mediterranean Dreams (click to see the original blue and green pattern) and adjusted the colors. It is amazing what a difference using new colors makes. The original definitely has a Mediterranean feel to it, soft and soothing, but with orange and pink I felt like I was transported to India with the colorful saris and fabric you see there. There are so many options with using this color and how the different color combinations evoke different feelings. It will be fun to experiment with Tangerine Tango this year.        ...

Tangerine Tango – Pantone Color of the Year

The Pantone Color Institute just announced their color of the year and it is Tangerine Tango. Pantone is the global authority on color and the originator of the color matching system that established standards for the use of color in manufacturing and print. That means every time you pick a color it will match in fabric or paint. Pretty cool. Orange has never been a super popular color until lately when people have noticed that it pairs great with most other colors. Add it to gray to give your outfit, design or room a pop of color and a modern feel. It also goes great with colors like navy and even red. Add pinks and you get a tropical vibe. It has a friendly happy tone, an instant pick me up. As designers we have always loved orange and try to add it whenever possible. Now we have the proof that we were right all along! Here are some great ideas from home to fashion. I love an all white kitchen and adding just a pop of color or adding throw pillows with orange accents to brighten a room. Have fun adding some Tangerine Tango to your life this year! For more ideas on adding color check out our Pinterest...

politics as usual

Since it is political debate season, year, month, whatever, I thought I would try to focus on something positive (stop laughing) about politics. No not the lies that are coming out of their mouths nor the attacks on each other, you would think they are all in middle school or high school, so cliquey! And are we not trying to teach our children to not bully? Hello presidential candidates and their PR firms lets cut the crap and lead by example. Enough with the he said, she said, you all need a time out. I digress… The real reason for this post was to take a look at some of the political posters over the last couple hundred years. It might be the one bright spot in the race for presidency. There are some pretty cool ones and it is fun to look at ones that were done so long ago. There are some good designers out there. I also like that lately people have come up with their own versions (as long as they are nice and tasteful. One great example of that is the Obama Hope poster. Here are some additional places that you can view more posters: Presidential Campaign Posters: Two Hundred Years The Library of...

add a pop of color

I just recently joined Pinterest. I know I am way behind but I don’t know how people have time to keep up with all of these new social sites popping up. It is hard enough doing a few blog posts a week, twitter and facebook, plus running Simon+Kabuki and our corporate design company, EandI Design, now I need to add Pinterest and still try to be the greatest mom and wife at home. Yikes that is a shit load to do!! I keep a constant running of lists of what to do today. I am sure at some point my head will just explode and my family will have to make do with my life insurance. Must remember to pay life insurance. Anyhoo… Today I wanted to do a post on adding pops of color to your house and life so that you can make it through the dreary winter and I thought it would be great to test out on Pinterest. Right now in northern California we are suffering with 65-70 degree sunny skies but I know that the rainy days are coming. So instead of shooting yourself when you’ve spent the 5th consecutive day inside just add a pop of green or magenta to brighten the day! I logged onto my Pinterest account and started pinning a board called Pops of Color. Here are the results. I am not quite sure how the whole thing works yet, like how do I share it on my blog? But I am sure if I spend enough countless hours on there it will come to me. If you have any...